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PACE rapporteurs in eastern Ukraine worried about worsening security situation

PACE rapporteurs Marieluise Beck (Germany, ALDE) and Kristýna Zelienková (Czech Republic, ALDE), ending a four-day fact-finding visit to Kiyv, Mariupol and Dnipropetrovsk, have expressed their concern at the renewed deterioration of the security situation along the contact line.

“After the illegal annexation of Crimea, the creeping hybrid annexation of the occupied areas in the Donbass region is unacceptable from the standpoint of international law,” they recalled.

But the rapporteurs said they were comforted by the vibrant civil society they encountered locally. “The people of Ukraine deserve Europe’s continued support. To abandon them in this situation would be proof of moral corruption. The resilience, determination and energy of the local people we met have convinced us that such support will not go wasted!”

They added: “The urgently-needed new government is duty-bound to fulfil the Ukrainian people’s legitimate expectation to carry out urgent reforms and defeat corruption.”

For security reasons, the two rapporteurs were unable to visit the areas in the Donbas region not under government control. They concluded: “If the two of us could not travel safely in the occupied territories for a day or two, how can free and fair elections be held in this region any time soon?”